Atheism, faith, and experience

Book chapter


Horner, Robyn and Romano, Claude. (2021). Atheism, faith, and experience. In In Horner, Robyn and Romano, Claude (Ed.). The experience of atheism : Phenomenology, metaphysics and religion pp. 1-15 Bloomsbury Academic. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350167667.ch-001
AuthorsHorner, Robyn and Romano, Claude
EditorsHorner, Robyn and Romano, Claude
Abstract

[Excerpt] The present volume has come about because of the conviction that it is timely to look anew at the question of atheism. Of course, there are already many fine books that have been written about atheism, but very often, they come down to an argument about whether or not one can reasonably believe in “God”—or in what one substitutes for God.[1] Such a polarization of views leads only to a stalemate, so that in the end there is nothing very interesting left to say. In late 2016, a group of scholars from Australia, Europe, and North America met in Rome to discuss the possibility that one can approach atheism otherwise, and very quickly it became evident that for many of us, it was not even clear what we meant when we used the term. There are many atheisms: some of these atheisms actually inhabit theism or are even seen to live out theism’s ends. Between 2017 and 2019, three further meetings were hosted by Australian Catholic University at the campus in Rome to extend the work of that first group. This book arises in large part from the final seminar in 2019, where we pursued the question of the relationship atheism bears to experience. Why experience? Because in our view, as editors, while there are plenty of intellectual arguments to be made about atheism, atheism is not first a question of conceptual knowledge. People rarely argue themselves entirely to belief or unbelief in God; more commonly, they have already crossed a particular threshold before they begin to make such arguments—or at least, before they have reached their conclusion. We ventured to begin the conversation with the idea that atheism (or theism) is a way of finding oneself in the world, a characteristic of experience that is perhaps first affective rather than thetic. So, with this in mind, we asked our interlocutors to reflect on what the experience of atheism might look like.

Page range1-15
Year2021
Book titleThe experience of atheism : Phenomenology, metaphysics and religion
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Place of publication London ; New York
ISBN9781350167636
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350167667.ch-001
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Oct 2021
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